Scope 3 GHG emissions
The scope 3 inventory includes all other indirect emissions in the supply chain. Examples are the upstream emissions from the production and transportation of purchased materials, or business travel and employee commuting. Emissions that occur downstream such as from transport to users, the use phase and waste processing are also included. In total there are fifteen scope 3 emission sources categorised in the GHG protocol. You can find an overview of these, and the scope 1 and 2 sources in.
Reduce Scope 3 emissions
- Supply Chain Collaboration: Engage with suppliers and encourage them to adopt sustainable practices. Collaborate with suppliers to set emission reduction targets, implement energy-efficient technologies, and explore renewable energy options. Promote transparency and encourage the disclosure of emissions data from suppliers.
- Product Life Cycle Assessment: Conduct a comprehensive assessment of the carbon footprint of your products or services throughout their entire life cycle, including raw material extraction, manufacturing, distribution, use, and disposal. Identify hotspots of emissions and prioritize actions to reduce them, such as optimizing production processes, using more sustainable materials, or designing products for durability and recyclability.
- Sustainable Procurement: Implement sustainable procurement practices by favoring suppliers that have strong environmental and social credentials. Consider factors such as supplier emissions, waste management practices, renewable energy adoption, and adherence to labor and human rights standards. Encourage suppliers to provide transparent information about their sustainability performance.
- Transportation Optimization: Optimize transportation and logistics operations to reduce emissions associated with the movement of goods. Explore options such as route optimization, consolidation of shipments, use of low-emission vehicles, and modal shift to more sustainable modes of transport, such as rail or waterways. Encourage the use of fuel-efficient vehicles and alternative fuels within your own fleet, if applicable.
- Customer Engagement and Education: Educate and engage customers on the environmental benefits and impacts of your products or services. Provide information on energy-efficient usage, recycling and disposal options, and the sustainable attributes of your offerings. Encourage customers to make environmentally conscious choices and consider offering incentives for low-carbon options.
- Circular Economy Practices: Transition to a circular economy model by promoting product reuse, recycling, and refurbishment. Design products with a focus on longevity, ease of repair, and recyclability. Explore take-back programs and collaborate with customers and partners to maximize the lifecycle of products and minimize waste generation.
- Employee and Stakeholder Engagement: Engage employees and stakeholders in sustainability initiatives by raising awareness, providing training, and encouraging behavioral changes. Foster a culture of sustainability and encourage the sharing of ideas and innovative solutions for reducing scope 3 emissions.
- Renewable Energy Integration: Consider investing in renewable energy projects or purchasing renewable energy credits to offset emissions associated with electricity consumption throughout the value chain. This can help to reduce the carbon intensity of operations across the organization. Also, check for available subsidies for carbon and energy reduction measures in your country. In the Netherlands, for example, you can check the EIA and MIA lists.
- Collaboration and Partnerships: Collaborate with industry peers, trade associations, and non-governmental organizations to address common sustainability challenges and share best practices. By working together, organizations can have a greater impact on reducing scope 3 emissions and driving systemic change.
- Transparent Reporting: Measure, report, and disclose scope 3 emissions data to stakeholders. Transparent reporting helps to drive accountability, track progress, and demonstrate the organization's commitment to reducing emissions across the value chain.
Reducing scope 3 emissions requires a comprehensive and collaborative approach that involves working closely with suppliers, customers, and other stakeholders. It's essential to engage with the entire value chain to identify opportunities, set targets, and implement effective emission reduction strategies.